The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. On December 11, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an Emergency Use Authorization for use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in people aged 16 years and older for the prevention of COVID-19.
Because the supply of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States will be limited at first, the Centers for Disease Control recommends that initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccine be allocated to healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents.
The recommendations were made with the following goals in mind:
- Decrease death and serious disease as much as possible
- Preserve functioning of society
- Reduce the extra burden COVID-19 is having on people already facing disparities.
You need two doses of the currently available COVID-19 vaccine. A second shot three weeks after your first shot is needed to get the most protection the vaccine has to offer. Because the current supply of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States is limited, CDC recommends that initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccine be offered to healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents.
The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as large enough quantities are available. Once vaccine is widely available, the plan is to have several thousand vaccination providers offering COVID-19 vaccines in doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers.
Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost.
As of today, there have been 16,113,148 confirmed cases of COVID-19 detected through U.S. public health surveillance systems in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Marianas Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands.